Governor Cuomo on Sunday directed the New York Army and Air National Guard to mobilize in response to Hurricane Sandy, and as a result, the Guard will deploy up to 1,175 citizen soldiers and airmen.
“Last year, the New York Army and Air National Guard played a significant role in our State’s immediate response to Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee,” Cuomo said. “They will provide vital assistance to various regions of the State, and it is essential that they are positioned to be ready to serve wherever they are called. These troops, along with critical equipment, vehicles and aircraft, are ready to answer at a moment’s notice.”
The Soldiers will be available to aid local authorities in responding to storm damage in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley and the Southern Tier. The New York National Guard has stocks of equipment set aside specifically for storms and is also prepared to deploy aircraft and satellite communications systems as needed. The following vehicles, aircraft and equipment are also available:
· The New York National Guard has more than 900 high axle trucks and Humvees which can negotiate flooded areas, as well as long-distance transportation assets and engineering equipment which can be used as necessary.
· The New York Army National Guard has 11 UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, two UH-72 Lakota light utility helicopters equipped with night vision equipment, and one CH-47 heavy lift helicopter available to respond.
· The New York Air National Guard has C-130 cargo aircraft ready to fly if required.
200 Soldiers, mainly from the New York Army National Guard's 204th Engineer Battalion will go on duty Monday at armories in Binghamton, Walton, and Horseheads to respond to incidents in the Southern Tier. The 174th Attack Wing in Syracuse will provide 50 Airmen who will also be in place Monday evening.
Statewide, another 150 Soldiers and Airmen, who will not be armed, will be mobilized to provide command and control and logistical support to the troops assisting state and local agencies.
If necessary, more troops can be called upon to respond to the storm.